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Word Count: 638
There were many factors which contributed to the ending of apartheid After years of segregation and oppression of blacks many different chronological events put together led to an eventual reform in South Africa of equality and democracy for everybody However the factor which I think played the most important part in the ending of apartheid was releasing ANC leader Nelson Mandela in 1990 Not only did it symbolise a fresh start for the country but also a new found uniformity of its people At the time this move by the government was quite unexpected but in retrospect an inevitability The prime minister of South Africa in 1989 was PW Botha however after having a stroke and being forced into bitter resignation was replaced by FW de Klerk De Klerk was commonly thought to be conservative and agree with segregation but his first speech announced plans to legalise the ANC PAC and SACP and also that political prisoners would be released He said he wanted to work with political groups to form a new constitution for South Africa Although De Klerks decision was a great step forward for blacks there were many possible reasons for his drastic change in government A journalist in Cape Town at the time wondered if De Klerk fully realised what he was doing Perhaps De Klerk thoguht he could remain in power by sharing it with the ANC There were also economic pressures business men were meeting with the ANC and liking them De Klerk was practical as he was trained as a lawyer and also religious Apparently his brother had said he thought God had chosen him to lead South Africa at a crossroads However the most probable reason was that apartheid was no longer practical or possible to maintain in the country This underlying fact had been brought about by several events Fourteen years prior to Mandelas release in 1976 school pupils had rioted
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